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Saturday, July 9


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#1 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:59 AM

A preview of a longer profile of Alexei Ratmansky by Susan Reiter in The Los Angeles Times.

“The Bright Stream,” set to a long-neglected Shostakovich score, not only features four prominent principal roles, but gives former ABT members such as Martine van Hamel, Victor Barbee and Susan Jones a chance to showcase their comic timing amid the ballet’s boisterous romantic misadventures. “Copenhagen was fascinating, a great place for me to develop. What other place, besides Paris, has that classical historical tradition?” Ratmansky said during a recent interview in New York. “I tried to learn everything that I could there – the whole Bournonville tradition, telling stories through dance and miming.”



#2 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:01 AM

A slide show of the Mariinsky/Kirov Ballet from The New York Times, with an intro by Claudia La Rocco.

These are, conspicuously, not full-length classics, something that rankles one of the Mariinsky’s leading ballerinas, Diana Vishneva, who is beloved for her interpretations of classical heroines at Ballet Theater. But this repertory offers an exciting opportunity to see these dancers, steeped in the grand imperial style, perform in newer and unfamiliar choreography. Besides, who wouldn’t take a Ratmansky over “Scheherazade”?



#3 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

Jonathan Stafford and Jenifer Ringer lead classes on individual ballets in Saratoga.

Stafford, a principal dancer with the company, will teach a piece inspired by "Fearful Symmetries," at 10 a.m. Saturday. He danced the piece on opening night Tuesday and also on Thursday.

Principal dancer Jenifer Ringer will teach an excerpt from "Thou Swell" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21. Ringer will dance the piece during the gala at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.



#4 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:08 AM

A review of New York City Ballet by Jay Rogoff in The Saratogian.

The program displayed some of the infinite variety of Balanchine and the company he founded. His sprightly 1957 “Square Dance,” the most measured and rational of the four works, featured Megan Fairchild and Anthony Huxley, a strong pairing whose creamy smoothness unified the performance.

This Vivaldi and Corelli ballet, a hoedown for the Age of Reason, discovers parallels between Italian baroque and American traditional music by integrating classical vocabulary with square dance moves. Dancers bow to partners and corners, join hands to weave intersecting lines, revolve in do-si-dos, chase their partners ‘round the square, promenade that pretty little miss, and for the finale, kick up their heels to some fancy baroque fiddling.



#5 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:11 AM

An interview with Martha Schabas about her new novel, "Various Positions."

Martha Schabas quit ballet at 15, but has now returned to the National Ballet School in her debut novel, Various Positions. Despite its setting and the balletic ambitions of Georgia, the 14-year-old central character, Schabas didn't set out to write a ballet novel. Initially Georgia was older, but as Schabas started to dig into the issues of feminism that interested her, she says the character just started getting younger.

"I wanted to write about some facet of being a young woman in our so-called third-wave feminist climate," she says.



#6 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:14 AM

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will pay another visit to China.

The 1984 trip, captured in the NFB documentary First Stop, China, was a marathon of 40 performances in 20 cities not only in China, but in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore. Back then, precautions were in order - dancers were inoculated against various scary infections. The flight to China took two days.

"The dancers were tired even before the performances began," Les Grands ballet master, Pierre Lapointe, recalled recently. "The hotel wasn't great; neither was the food at the hotel - the only place where we could eat. Tough on the digestion."



#7 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:15 PM

Controversy arises at the Royal Danish Ballet after allegations of widespread drug use in the company appear in a report.

Earlier in the day, Møller himself had also downplayed the controversy, calling the allegations an “internal personnel affair”. Later, however, as criticism from opposition politicians grew, he changed that message and urged Jacobsen to “take care of the problem”. Møller emphasised that he was confident they would deal with the issue properly.

The accusations of rampant cocaine use by the ballet’s dancers and appeared first in an internal study commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet itself and completed on March 15. In the report several anonymous employees claim that cocaine abuse is widespread at the ballet. They also complain of mismanagement and unprofessional, temperamental leadership from Hübbe.



#8 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:18 PM

The Kansas City Ballet and the Kansas City Public Library will collaborate on public readings to promote the company's new ballet based on "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

But beginning in September, the library will sponsor a community read of the novel, hosting several programs to provide background on Twain’s book and the ballet. This will include a preview of the dance work with composer Maury Yeston; a critical assessment of the book by Twain scholar and biographer Robert Hirst; and an exhibit of Thomas Hart Benton’s illustrations for the novel.



#9 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:21 PM

New York City Ballet still faces challenges in Saratoga.

After testing out the two-week season in 2009, attendance numbers seemed to confirm that shortening the season was the right decision. The shorter season featured seven fewer shows than the previous year’s three-week season did, but the average attendance for each show rose by 24 percent and average ticket income increased by 19 percent.

But with the shorter season, fewer spectators had time to make it to the ballet, as the 2009 total attendance was down nearly 20 percent from the previous year.



#10 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:23 PM

Paul Kolnik gives a talk in Saratoga on Balanchine and photographing ballet.

The presentation began with a short demonstration in which a ballerina illustrated Balanchine head positions. “It’s about opening the body but, like anything else, what does that mean? It means opening the spirit, opening the soul, opening everything up. Becoming bigger, larger, more ennobled,” Kolnik said.

Kolnik displayed a slideshow of color photos from last year’s NYC Ballet farewell performances of the principal dancers, Yvonne Borree, Albert Evans, Philip Neal, Darci Kistler and company composer Maurice Kaplow. Flowing pink tulle, joyous smiles and flower petals flit across the screen.



#11 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:28 PM

Texture Contemporary Ballet makes its debut.

Any of these descriptions fit the debut of Texture Contemporary Ballet, a collective of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre artists and dancers with other companies (Nashville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet and Charlottesville Ballet, to name a few) under the artistic directorship of former PBT member Alan Obuzor.

A mix of young wide-eyed prima ballerina hopefuls and more mature movement connoisseurs packed the intimate New Hazlett Theater on the North Side Friday night for the roughly two and a half hour premiere (including two intermissions). The program opened with the multi-part "Glimpse," choreographed by Mr. Obuzor to music by BalletMet's Gabriel Gaffney Smith, who also danced in the show.



#12 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:38 PM

Sydney faces a shortage of theater space.

Opera and ballet productions are crimped, too, but state and federal governments have yet to fund an urgently needed overhaul of facilities at the Opera Theatre, where there is little wing space, storage is stretched to breaking point and the view from about a quarter of seats is obscured.



#13 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:47 PM

A review of the Hamburg Ballet by Horst Koegler for danceviewtimes.

Neumeier has proceeded accordingly, by using the compositorial and choreographical tools he has acquired during his almost half a century of creating ballets. So that he, too, reminds one constantly of earlier examples of his by now enormous output - not, however, as a sort of summary of the artistic experiences of his life, but certainly as the catalogue of his iconography of working tools. It is highly impressive, always intimately connected with the music, and yet I had the feeling that I had seen many of them before – in other words: I missed the creative spark which illuminated his best works before (I could list easily at least twelve - and there are not that many choreographers in the course of ballet history who could match that record,).....




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